Putrajaya yet to decide on date for fuel subsidy programme, says minister

The government is looking at what the B40 or M40 will end up paying under the fuel subsidy programme.

KUALA LUMPUR: Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the targeted fuel subsidy programme (PSP) is still on hold, with the two ministries involved working on better communication strategies.

He added that the Cabinet would decide on the date of implementation after their progress report.

“The instruction is for the two ministries – the ministries of finance, and domestic trade and consumer affairs – to sit down and come up with a better communication plan to address some of the concerns of those involved in PSP such as the B40 and the M40,” he told reporters.

He was speaking on the sidelines of The Malaysia Economic and Strategic Outlook Forum organised by the Economic Club of Kuala Lumpur and the Kingsley Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific.

Saifuddin said, for instance, the ministries were looking into emphasising the actual figures of what the B40 or M40 would actually end up paying.

“For example, if the price after floating ends up being RM2.10, recipients of the programme will need to pay RM1.80 per litre. We want to emphasise more on how much they will end up paying. That’s what we are doing now.”

He said the ministries had met in the first week of January and that they would prepare a report for the Cabinet.

Putrajaya previously said about eight million people were eligible for the programme, with three million from the lower-income group and the rest from the middle-income group.

RM2.2 billion in subsidies has reportedly been allocated for the PSP.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said he remained optimistic about the retail industry in 2020 and that based on ministry data, the retail industry as a whole was still doing well.

“The ministry keeps on receiving applications from the industry players to open up new branches. Overall, I am quite optimistic. The retail industry is a very important component when we talk about the services industry as a whole.”